A Valley News Publication

Dedicated to Amanda, Valley News penguin editor, on her vacation

This story in today’s Valley News headlined, “When Penguins Were Huge.”

This illustration provided by Gerald Mayr shows the sizes of an ancient giant penguin Kumimanu biceae and a human being. Researchers announced their find of fossils from approximately 55 million to 60 million years ago, in New Zealand, that put the creature at about 5 feet, 9 inches long when swimming, and 223 pounds. (Reconstruction by G. Mayr/Senckenberg Research Institute)

Lebanon Police Department says goodbye to K9 Max, who has succumbed to cancer

Photos via Lebanon Police. RIP, Max. Read the full press release at the bottom of this page.

(Photo courtesy – Lebanon Police Department)

(Photo courtesy – Lebanon Police Department)

(Photo courtesy – Lebanon Police Department)

The following is a news release from the Lebanon Police Department:

On Dec. 11, 2017, Lebanon Police Department K9 Max succumbed to cancer when he was euthanized after a long and courageous battle. K9 Max, a Belgian Malinois, joined the department in 2007 and was trained by his handler, Officer Jeremy Perkins. K9 Max spent the next ten years in dedicated service to the Lebanon Police Department, the City of Lebanon and our residents.

Over the years, K9 Max was responsible for countless drug seizures, apprehensions and rescues. All Lebanon Police K9 teams train at the Vermont Police Academy and on several occasions, Officer Perkins and K9 Max were awarded the Vermont Police K9 Patrol Team of the Year award.

This past year, K9 Max had several surgeries to remove cancerous tumors from his body. Despite his cancer diagnosis and ongoing treatment, K9 Max continued to work along with Officer Perkins and they were an effective team until the very end. In November, K9 Max underwent a serious and invasive surgery to remove another cancerous tumor. Within a week of that surgery, K9 Max was back on patrol with Officer Perkins continuing to battle and continuing to serve our City.

K9 Max spent his last day on patrol with his handler doing his duty, as he did for last ten years. At approximately 1 p.m, K9 Max and Officer Perkins arrived at Stonecliff Animal Hospital where K9 Max entered the facility through a receiving line of police officers rendering a salute. After his passing, K9 Max was given his last radio call before being escorted by Lebanon Police cruisers to SAVES in Lebanon, where he was given one final send off before being cremated.

In case one big post about snowy owls wasn’t enough …

Here’s another snowy owl sighting in Burlington. We have photos/videos from a snowy owl’s visit in Randolph last week.

Also, on that dictionary definition, I think you’re looking for entry No. 2.

Photo, video: Snowy owl stops by the Vermont Tech campus in Randolph

A snowy owl was spotted on the Vermont Tech campus in Randolph, Vt., on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. Photo courtesy Alliance for Vermont Communities – Alex Buskey.

Alliance for Vermont Communities shared these images from the Vermont Tech campus on their Instagram yesterday, and have allowed us to share them here as well!

Alex Buskey, who runs social media for the nonprofit, said he and his girlfriend were driving through the campus around 2:30 Sunday afternoon when they saw a group of photographers gathered, aiming their gear at a light post. From Alex:

We pulled over and watched for about an hour. There was a professional nature photographer there from Boston who’s Instagram account is @notquitestrangers. He’s the guy in our picture shooting the owl and said he should have photos ready in a couple weeks.


At the end of our time watching, the owl perked up, dropped from the post and glided toward a row of bushes along one of the buildings. It caught a small rodent and paused on the ground for a bit before flying to perch on another light post (caught on video).


The most incredible part was obviously the wingspan on the bird, and how incredibly silent it was while flying low to the ground in pursuit of whatever it caught in the bushes. Folks said it is an adolescent female who has been there for a while now.

Writer/educator/field naturalist Bryan Pfeiffer also has some high-quality photos at his blog, and Brenda Petrella shared more on Instagram:

BTW, as of Tuesday afternoon, the Randolph snowy owl was the only one reported to the website eBird within miles and miles of the Upper Valley for November and December of this year.

* * *

The National Audubon Society writes that Project SNOWstorm, a volunteer-fueled Snowy Owl-tracking organization, predicts this could be a big winter for snowy owls in North America, potentially similar to an influx of the creatures — referred to as an irruption — that happened in 2013.

Scott Weidensaul, one of the directors of Project SNOWstorm, says the clues point to a big irruption, but the group also fully admits there’s no way to definitively know how big it could be or if it will even happen at all. “There’s a little bit of voodoo and black magic in all of this,” Weidensaul says. Though Snowy Owl migration patterns are mostly mysterious, there have been some tell-tale signs that the birds are on their way.

Meanwhile, WMUR reports that several snowy owls have already been reported throughout the Granite State.

Photo by Greenfield Recorder/Paul Franz. Enhancements by yours truly.


What’s the Alliance for Vermont Communities, you say? The nonprofit was formed to block the proposed NewVistas project, which now belongs to a new legal entity, Windsorange LLC.